New Ukraine president, and former actor, to meet Trudeau in Toronto
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, smiles in Kiev, Ukraine, on May 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Efrem Lukatsky
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, June 25, 2019 2:24PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 25, 2019 2:25PM EDT
OTTAWA - Ukraine's new president will visit Toronto next week for a major international conference on his country's future that Canada is hosting, and where he will meet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Trudeau's office says he and Volodymyr Zelenskiy will discuss Ukraine's reform efforts and its path toward integration with Europe.
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Zelenskiy, a popular actor and comedian but a political neophyte, ran away with this spring's presidential election, unseating Petro Poroshenko.
He is now tasked with guiding his country through its ongoing conflict with Russia, which annexed Ukraine's Crimea region in 2014 and fomented a pro-Kremlin insurgency in the country's east that has left more than 13,000 dead.
The Ukraine Reform Conference is a three-day gathering that begins Tuesday in Toronto, which the government says will include key international friends and partners to support Ukraine.
Trudeau says in a statement that he wants to use the meeting with Zelenskiy to reaffirm Canada's deep commitment to the Ukrainian people.